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The number of children growing up without a father in England and Wales has now passed the million mark. Family breakdown in some of the poorest areas is so serious that the Centre for Social Justice is calling them "men deserts".
Our Social Affairs Editor, Penny Marshall, has been investigating the growing lack of male role models for young people.
Read Penny's blog: Family breakdown - it takes a village to raise a child.
The director of the Centre for Social Justice told ITV News today's report on family breakdown "is nothing to do with blaming single parents."
Christian Guy said it is about the one million fathers who are not in regular contact with their children.
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has condemned the Government's lack of action in failing to stem what it called an "epidemic" of family breakdown.
Director of the CSJ, Christian Guy, said:
A report on family breakdown suggests the instability of cohabiting couples has fuelled the disintegration of families in the UK.
Since 1996, the number of people cohabiting has doubled to nearly six million, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) found.
The report, Fractured Families: Why Stability Matters, stated that cohabiting parents are three times more likely to separate by the time a child is five years old than married couples.
It also highlights the cost of family breakdown, which the CSJ said is estimated at £46 billion a year or £1,541 for every taxpayer in the country.
This has risen by almost a quarter in the last four years and is projected to reach £49 billion by the end of this Parliament, the CSJ added.
The absence of fathers in British families is linked to higher rates of teenage crime, pregnancy and disadvantage, according to a report on family breakdown.
The director of the Centre for Social Justice, which released the report, said the human, social and financial costs of family breakdown are "devastating" for children and adults alike.
Christian Guy said: "For children growing up in some of the poorest parts of the country, men are rarely encountered in the home or in the classroom.
"This is an ignored form of deprivation that can have profoundly damaging consequences on social and mental development.
"There are 'men deserts' in many parts of our towns and cities and we urgently need to wake up to what is going wrong".
Some of the poorest areas of the UK are becoming "men deserts" because there are so few visible male role models for children, a report by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) suggests.
One of the problems is there are so few male teachers in primary schools, the independent think tank said.
It noted that one in four primary schools in England and Wales has no male teacher and 80 percent have fewer than three.
The report found that Liverpool has one of the highest densities fatherless households in the country, with eight of the top 20 areas within its boundaries.
In the ward of Riverside, there are no fathers in 65 percent of households with dependent children.
In Sheffield's Manor Castle ward, 75 percent of households are headed by a lone parent, most commonly a woman.
More than a million children in the UK are growing up without a father, according to a report on family breakdown.
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) claimed the number of lone-parent families increases by 20,000 a year and will reach more than two million by the next General Election in 2015.
The CSJ warned there was a "tsunami" of family breakdown and said the response from politicians has been "feeble".
It also accused the Government of "turning a blind eye" to its commitment to promote family stability.
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As the Centre for Social Justice claims family breakdown is "devastating" children and adults alike, an old African proverb comes to mind.